As is tradition, Baseball Prospectus has released their annual projected standings on their website. The Chicago White Sox has been projected to have a winning season but not much more.
Baseball Prospectus has released their annual standing predictions. The projection system, named PECOTA, ran thousands of simulations giving the Chicago White Sox an average win total of 82.5, which would have them finishing in third place and missing the playoffs.
The good news? The White Sox aren’t too far behind the wild card teams, as the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels are projected to finish with 87 and 86 wins, respectively. This should give White Sox fans some hope that the team will be competing for the playoffs in September, even if they don’t end up making it. I don’t have much disagreement, as I think the Angels and Rays are better than the Sox at this point. Even if the Astros decline with their cheating schemes being exposed, Billy Bean’s Oakland A’s have a good chance of taking their place.
As far as the prediction goes, I feel that it is a pretty fair one at this point. I would expect the Sox to start out contending for the playoffs, but as the schedule gets more difficult in August they would end up finishing with around 82-83 wins.
Mainly, PECOTA thinks the White Sox will do fine offensively, but the pitching side of things will prevent them from being a good team, and not just an OK one. In a way, that’s a good thing because for the White Sox to make the playoffs they know what they have to do is to out-perform their pitching projections and have guys in the rotation and bullpen step it up.
Given the potential of the staff, it’s possible the White Sox will be able to do that, as many in the rotation were top-tier prospects at one point. Pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and Lucas Giolito have proven they can be dominant in the past.
However, the most likely scenario for the 2020 White Sox will be that they have a winning team, but not one good enough to make the playoffs. My hope is that they will outperform expectations and win 90 games. It’s unlikely, but not impossible. It would be a nice reward after all these years of rebuilding.